EU pledges more than €3 billion for Syrians in 2016 at the London conference

At the ‘Supporting Syria and the Region’ conference which took place in London on 4 February, the European Union and its Member States pledged more than €3 billion to assist the Syrian people inside Syria as well as refugees and the communities hosting them in neighbouring countries during 2016. The pledge triples the EU support offered at the last donor conference in Kuwait on 31 March 2015, and comes on top of the €5 billion that the EU has already committed in response to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. From its budget alone, the EU will spend €2.4 billion in 2016/2017. At the conference High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini also confirmed that on top of the activation of the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan and the Refugee Facility, work is ongoing with Lebanon and Jordan on “compacts”, plans that aim to improve the living conditions of refugees and support the economic and social resilience of both countries. In London, the Commission was also represented by Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis management Christos Stylianides. President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz also joined leaders of over 60 countries gathered at the conference. A press release and a factsheet are available online.